Re: Interface vs. Documentation

Subject: Re: Interface vs. Documentation
From: "Michele Marques" <mmarques -at- cms400 -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 10:10:44 -0500

Christine Pellar-Kosbar <chrispk -at- merit -dot- edu> mentions that she
documents a product that requires entering complex commands to
initially configure the software (I believe from a command line). She
has suggested a wizard or other tool to aid the initial configuration
process but it was suggested that her user community
(programmers) might be too sophisticated/knowledgeable to
appreciate the wizard being foisted on them.

How about giving the user a choice to run the "wizard"? I can think
of three ways off the top of my head:
(1) The user must respond to a question whether or not to start
the configuration (or whatever) wizard.
(2) The wizard starts, but includes a cancel button.
(3) The user must start the wizard manually (from a toolbar button
or command-line statement - depending on how your system

This makes everyone happy (people who need the wizard and
people who don't want it). You can even go one step further and
allow people to manually enter those start-up configuration
commands with a "-?" (or some other) option to start that
command with a wizard/dialog box just for entering that one

Alternatively, if users can run commands that have been entered in
a text file (e.g., "scripts"), perhaps you could supply a few sample
scripts for common configurations.

Michele Marques
Lead Technical Communicator, CMS Manufacturing Systems
mmarques -at- cms400 -dot- com
905-477-4499 x280

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